Castles of Greece


Sagri, Naxos, Cyclades,South Aegean

Apaliros Castle

or Castle of Sanudo  
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Apaliros Castle
On a hilltop south of Sangri, Naxos
Region > Prefecture:   Greek Map
South Aegean
Municipality > Town:
City of Naxos
• Sagri
Elevation ≈ 375 m 
(Relative Height≈200 m)
Time of Construction   Origin
6th century  
Castle Type   Condition
Rather Poor

A byzantine castle in the interior of Naxos island on a steep hill between the villages Sagri and Agiassos. It was the center of Byzantine Naxos until the 13th century, when the Venetians came to the island.

The Name of the Castle

Τhe name derives from apaliries, the name of an unusual bush that grows around the castle.


Though no record detailing the city’s founding exists, abundant ceramic remains and coins found here suggest it was established before the 7th century.

The castle was the acropolis of the capital of the island in the Byzantine period which was located at the foot of the hill of Apaliros.

Apaliros was besieged for 40 days by the Venetian Marco Sanudo in 1207, in the aftermath of the Fall of Byzantium after the 4th Crusade (1204). The castle was the last defense of the Greeks of Naxos and when it fell, this was the beginning of the long occupation of Naxos (and of the rest of the Cyclades) by the Venetians, until 1537, when the Ottomans came.

Sanudo decided to build his castle in Chora, to be closer to the sea. So Apaliros was neglected and soon abandoned. According to one source, the castle was destroyed by Sanudo immediately after its capture to prevent other pirates or perhaps the Byzantines from using it as a stronghold against the Venetians.

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Road map to Apaliros Castle

Approach to the monument:
Take the road from Naxos to Agiassos until you meet the info sign for the monastery of the Holy Cross. 500m after the sign, a path to the castle starts.
Like most remote, ruined and neglected fortifications, entrance is not an issue. The difficult part is to approach the castle and walk around inside.

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Castle of Herakleia
Tower of Markopolitis-Papadakos
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Monastery of Photodotis Christ
Tower of Skeponi
Tower of Sommaripa
Castle of Schoinousa
Tower of Vivlos
Cheimarros Tower
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